Connect with us


Big Country, The (1958, Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons)



One of the epic westerns made in the ’50s, William Wyler’s The Big Country is famed for its stunning score and panoramic exteriors, but at its core is Gregory Peck’s eastern ‘dude’, unused to and uninterested in the violence of the west until, inexorably, he’s drawn into it.

Peck plays James McKay, a retired sea captain come west to claim his bride Patricia Terrill (Carroll Baker), daughter of rancher Major Henry Terrill (Charles Bickford). He walks into a feud between Terrill and Rufus Hannassey (Oscar-winning Burl Ives) over a watering hole for their cattle, which is owned by schoolteacher Julie Maragon (Jean Simmons).

And, to add to the mix, Terrill’s foreman Steve Leech (Charlton Heston) has eyes for Patricia and doesn’t welcome the arrival of a rival. As the two warring clans try to persuade Julie to give them her land, as Leech woos Patricia and as McKay finds his affections drawn more towards Julie, tensions mount and, inevitably, he’s drawn into the spiralling violence.

The film is not without its longeurs, but the stellar cast overcome them and the scenes of Peck’s solitary breaking of a wild horse to prove something not just to others but to himself, the brutal moonlit fistfight between him and Heston, and the final showdown between Ives and Bickford are enduring western film motifs.

production details
USA / 165 minutes / 1958

Director: William Wyler
Writers: James H Webb, Sy Bartlett, Robert Wilder,

Gregory Peck as James McKay
Jean Simmons as Julie Maragon
Carroll Baker as Patricia Terrill
Charlton Heston as Steve Leech
Burl Ives as Rufus Hannassey
Charles Bickford as Major Henry Terrill
Alfonso Bedoya as Ramón Guiteras
Chuck Connors as Buck Hannassey
Chuck Hayward as Rafe Hannassey
Buff Brady as Dude Hannassey
Jim Burk as Blackie / Cracker Hannassey
Dorothy Adams as Hannassey Woman
Chuck Roberson as Terrill Cowboy
Bob Morgan as Terrill Cowboy
John McKee as Terrill Cowboy
Slim Talbot as Terrill Cowboy
Roddy McDowall as Hannassey Watchman (uncredited)
Richard Alexander as Party Guest – Oceans (uncredited)
Harry Cheshire as Party Guest (uncredited)
Ralph Sanford as Party Guest (uncredited)
William Hoehne Jr. as Lefty Hannassey cowhand (uncredited)
Donald Kerr as Liveryman (uncredited)

and this just in

Episodes46 mins ago

Counting Cars: Under the Hood: That 70s Car (S1EP7 History Wed 20 Oct 2021)

That 70s Car: Danny loves cars from the seventies. In this episode he tackles two icons of the era, the...

Episodes46 mins ago

CSI: Vegas: Under the Skin (S1EP3 CBS Wed 20 Oct 2021)

Under the Skin: Grissom and Sara’s investigation into charges against David Hodges heats up as Internal Affairs joins the hunt....

Episodes46 mins ago

American Horror Story: The Future Perfect (S10EP10 FX Wed 20 Oct 2021)

The Future Perfect: Mamie takes matters into her own hands. The fate of the future is revealed. Written by Brad...

Episodes46 mins ago

Secrets of the Dead: Magellan’s Crossing (S20EP1 PBS Wed 20 Oct 2021)

Magellan’s Crossing: Five hundred years ago, Portuguese captain Ferdinand Magellan and his crew set sail to gain control of the...

Episodes46 mins ago

In Pursuit with John Walsh: Abuses of Power (S3EP10 Investigation Discovery Wed 20 Oct 2021)

Abuses of Power: John Walsh is in pursuit of fugitive Jason Hines, accused of sexually abusing multiple minors and possibly...

Episodes46 mins ago

Chicago P.D.: Burnside (S9EP5 NBC Wed 20 Oct 2021)

Burnside: As the team works to solve a deadly shooting in Burnside, Atwater realizes he has a very personal connection...

Episodes46 mins ago

Killer Cases: Murder And The Sex Cam Model (S1EP A&E Wed 20 Oct 2021)

Murder and the Sex Cam Model: A close look is taken at the murder of a couple and their youngest...

Episodes46 mins ago

The Sinner: Part II (S4EP2 USA Network Wed 20 Oct 2021)

Part II: A new suspect leads the investigation into an ongoing feud between the Lams and the Muldoons. Airdate: Wed...


Episodes46 mins ago

Counting Cars: Alice and the Beast (S10EP6 History Wed 20 Oct 2021)

Alice and the Beast: The Count’s Kustoms Crew hits the road to hand deliver Alice Cooper’s newly restored 1963 Studebaker...

Episodes46 mins ago

Alter Ego: The Head To Heads Night 2 (S1EP6 FOX Wed 20 Oct 2021)

The Head To Heads Night 2: In the show’s sixth episode, four more contestants go head-to-head and face elimination in...

Episodes46 mins ago

Guy’s Grocery Games: Flavortown 2.0 (S28EP3 Food Network Wed 20 Oct 2021)

Flavortown 2.0: It’s the grand opening of the all-new Flavortown Market 2.0 — bigger, better and badder than the original!...

Episodes46 mins ago

Tough As Nails: It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Freight Train (S3EP3 CBS Wed 20 Oct 2021)

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Freight Train: Season two crew member "Freight Train" returns to lead the...

Dr Mercy TLC Dr Mercy TLC
Episodes46 mins ago

Dr. Mercy: Under Lock And Keloid (S1EP5 TLC Wed 20 Oct 2021)

Under Lock and Keloid: A patient has keloids so large he may need a skin graft if her has them...

Episodes46 mins ago

The Bradshaw Bunch: Playing the Field and Playing the Feud (S2EP3 E! Wed 20 Oct 2021)

Playing the Field and Playing the Feud: Still stinging from their embarrassing loss last year, Terry coaches the family for...

Episodes46 mins ago

If We Built It Today: Rebuilding the Hoover Dam (S3EP2 Science Wed 20 Oct 2021)

Rebuilding the Hoover Dam: The Hoover Dam was an epic engineering experiment that created an oasis of American opportunity during...

Episodes46 mins ago

Court Cam: #420 (S4EP20 A&E Wed 20 Oct 2021)

A man is brought to justice after he is accused of killing two of his girlfriends; a deputy describes his...